About the book:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris...Idaho! Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole. Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, who's been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town. Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.
I so wanted to love this book. It sounds cute, the cover is adorable, and so many of the preliminary reviews gave it high marks. I found the characterizations a bit stereotyped and I never really cared about Kenzie. She was a spoiled brat who predictably learned the necessary life lessons you expected from a storyline that wrapped up very neatly and happily.
Having said that, however, I do think that the intended YA/Teenage audience will love it. It has all the hallmarks of a successful teen novel: drama, a plucky little heroine and her mix of friendly and obnoxious girlfriends, the right amount of angst, a bit of suspense and a "bad boy" hero to fall in love with.
Michele Ashman Bell also shows us two distinct marriages: Kenzie's parents are separated and headed for divorce, while her aunt and uncle have a healthy, well communicative marriage, and while not perfect, a healthy family relationship with their two sons. I think the example, especially, of a healthy marriage is so important for today's teenage girls to read about. I also liked the fact that Kenzie stood her ground when the kids around her were drinking. Those examples are always good to see.
Thanks to Tristi Pinkston of Valor Publishing Group for the opportunity to preview this book. You can learn more about Michele Ashman Bell here. You can purchase your own copy here and here. To find out what other readers have said about this book, check out the other tour stops here.